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My name is Meg and I love what I do.

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90-Minute Keynote

Posing a few questions to fellow speakers, fellow audience members (current and former), and fellow easily distracted people. Next month I’m presenting a 90-minute keynote address at a conference (subject: new-media marketing/youth markets) and I am terrified. Looking to my friends for a little guidance and reassurance on this.

1. 90 minutes is a really long time for a talk. Have you ever been to a talk that long that you enjoyed, and what made it so engaging?

2. I feel like the obvious answer is to portion out some of the time to include some audience participation/group activity, but I’ve never ever enjoyed having to do that as an audience member. Ever have to do an activity at a talk that wasn’t too painful? Any advice if I decide to go this route?

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9 + five =

  • CaLynn

    From a completely different industry, I am a part-time college teacher now and I have to hold students’ attention for over an hour regularly (currently I am dealing with a 3 hour time slot this semester, considering it is a once a week course). Of course, its structured differently than a keynote and has a different audience, but some methods could still apply. The best tip I’ve been given is to break things down to 20 minute segments (insert activity here? pose questions? tell a joke?). Next, my own personal experiments have shown me that the more “me” I am, the more fun they are having. And you weren’t able to build a brand by being boring, so I think as long as you are passionate about what you are talking about, you will be entertaining to the audience. If you are having fun, so are they. Truly – I’ve witnessed it over and over. Tie your talk into things they know about (internet memes, current events, etc). This makes your talk relatable and memorable. And fills up time!

    • http://about.me/meganhunt Megan Hunt

      Thanks for these tips! I was thinking this would be a great question for teachers as well–and I had no idea you were an educator! That’s so cool.

  • Jana

    You could do a reflective activity where you have people think about a brand, etc. And what makes it successful. Andaybe even ask people to shout out responses after. Then the outgoing people who want to actively participate can do so, but those who do not can just reflect and then listen.

    • http://about.me/meganhunt Megan Hunt

      thanks for the suggestion, jana! have you been to a talk before where this happened and went well?

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